CAPE ELIZABETH — Trish Brigham loves pie.
She also loves PIE – “Progress Includes Everyone” – and wants others to as well. This includes people who will be at the Women’s March on Washington in a couple of weeks.
Shortly after the presidential election, the former School Board member began creating and selling pins to support organizations that help women and minorities. The pins, designed to look like pies, simply say “PIE” on them.
“It made us feel like we were healing a little bit,” Brigham said. “It made us feel like we were doing something other than sitting around moping and doing nothing.”
Brigham said she and her colleagues, Megan Boltz and Abigail Maker of Portland boutique K Colette, were feeling defeated when Republican Donald Trump won the November election.
“We were sort of feeling a little shocked and a little down,” she said.
They wanted to do something helpful and productive while they were “slowly coming out of the pit of depression,” Brigham said.
Maker said it was important to do something to unite people.
“After the election everyone felt such a big divide, which isn’t what you want to see after an election,” she said.
Brigham said the pins were inspired by what she loves to eat.
“Pie is my favorite food,” she said. “Pie is often my lunch.”
And, pie is a classic American food. The website for the initiative, theprogresspie.com, states “be American, love PIE.” Although the pins started as a political statement, Brigham said, they’re meant to bring people together, not divide them.
“If you voted for Trump, that’s fine,” she said. “This isn’t intended to challenge anyone.”
Instead, the pins are supposed to express that everyone needs to work together, Brigham said.
“Even if you have different opinions,” she said, “I’d hope you can come together to a common agreement.”
Boltz said she wants people to be inclusive when discussing politics and to understand how the choices being made in Washington affect people differently.
“I thought the most important thing to remember in those conversations is not to be exclusive,” she said. “Everyone deserves what this country has to offer.”
Brigham said it’s important for everyone to feel represented in politics and that many people were “excluded or offended by rhetoric of the election.”
“Everyone should have a place at the table,” she said.
Brigham, Maker and Boltz decided the issues most important to them in the election were women’s reproductive rights and the environment.
Proceeds for the pins are being donated to the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Each pin costs $8 and can be bought online and at various stores in Portland.
Brigham started by ordering 100 pins, which are manufactured in Vermont; they sold out within a week. She then ordered 200 more, which also sold out.
“They sort of sold themselves without us doing anything,” she said.
Brigham said she has ordered 500 more, with plans to bring them with her to the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration.
As Trump is sworn into office and starts his first term, Brigham said it’s important that underrepresented people know they have a voice.
“We want everyone to have a say as this country moves forward,” she said.
Maker agreed, and said she hopes the pie pins help people recognize that.
“We’re all human, we’re all people, and not including everyone and hearing their voices can be harmful to a society,” she said. “The pie is a symbol of being inclusive.”
Abigail Maker, left, Megan Boltz and Trish Brigham in the offices of K Colette, where they work in Portland. The trio has created pins to promote equality in response to results of the presidential election.
Proceeds from the sale of PIE pins are being donated to organizations that help women and minorities.